2007 New Mexico State Preview

Posted Jun 10, 2007

Preview 2007 New Mexico State Aggies Preview

New Mexico State Aggies

Preview 2007

By Pete Fiutak

- 2007 NMSU Offense Preview | 2007 NMSU Defense Preview
- 2007 NMSU Depth Chart
| 2006 CFN New Mexico State Preview 

Welcome to the Ocean’s Eleven of college football. New Mexico State won’t be very good, but it’ll be a lot of fun to watch (and any remotely possible comparisons between Hal Mumme and George Clooney will stop here).

Mumme took over an average Sun Belt team after the 2004 season and promptly led the it into the tank in 2005 going 0-12 with a bullet on the way to a 20-game losing streak over D-I teams. Even in the lean times last season, the offense bombed away with one of the nation’s most lethal passing attacks before winning the final two games of the year by scoring a combined 92 points against Utah State and Louisiana Tech. Now the team is about to explode.

Head coach: Hal Mumme
3rd year: 4-20
17th year overall: 101-84-1
Returning Lettermen:
Off. 24, Def. 22, ST 1
Lettermen Lost: 17
Ten Best Aggie Players
QB Chase Holbrook, Jr.
2. WR/KR Chris Williams, Jr.
3. WR A.J. Harris, Jr.
4. WR Derek Dubois, Sr.
5. FS Derrick Richardson, Jr.
6. OT Mike Martinez, Jr.
7. TE Nick Cleaver, Sr.
8. P Jared Kaufman, Sr.
9. RB Jeremiah Williams, Jr.
10. NG Ray Manumaleuna, Sr.

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 5-8

Aug. 30

SE Louisiana

Sept. 8

at New Mexico

Sept. 15


Sept. 22

at Auburn

Sept. 29

Ark. Pine-Bluff

Oct. 7

at Boise State

Oct. 13

at Louisiana Tech

Oct. 20


Oct. 27

at Hawaii

Nov. 2


Nov. 10

at San Jose State

Nov. 17

Utah State

Dec. 1

Fresno State

2006 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 3-9

2006 Record: 4-8

Preview 2006 predicted wins

8/31 SE Louisiana W 30-15
9/9 New Mexico L 34-28
9/16 Tex. Southern W 48-14
9/30 at UTEP  L 44-38
10/7 at Idaho L 28-20
10/14 Boise State L 40-24
10/21 Hawaii L 49-30
10/28 at Nevada L 48-21
11/4 San Jose State L 31-21
11/11 at Fresno State L 23-18
11/25 at Utah State W 42-20
12/2 Louisiana Tech W 50-23

With nine starters back on an offense that finished third in the nation averaging 475 yards per game, second in passing averaging 399 yards per outing, and 15th in scoring averaging 31 points per game, New Mexico State might be appointment television each week just to see what all the fuss is about, and to see one of the nation’s most dynamic pitch-catch combinations.

With 6-5, 235-pound size, an accurate arm, and experience, Chase Holbrook is the perfect quarterback to run Mumme’s offense. He should battle with Hawaii’s Colt Brennan all season long for the NCAA passing title. On the flip side, Chris Williams, the nation’s leading receiver last season in both catches (92) and yards (1,415), is as small as a receiver can get checking in at 5-8 and 155 pounds, but his quickness in the inside Z position gets him plenty of passes his way.

So if the offense is going to be so fantastic, then why are the Aggies going to be so bad? There’s still the defense to deal with.

The offense will put up plenty of yards, but the defense gives them up even faster. Nine starters return to hope for a little bit of an improvement from a defense that never got into the backfield and never came through with a clutch stop. But if it can be just a little bit better, Mumme might have one of the nation’s most surprising teams, and not just one of the most exciting.

What to watch for on offense: Balance schmalance, when you have a fastball like this offense has, you stick with it. Holbrook will throw for close to 5,000 yards, close to 40 touchdowns, and should blow up for at least four, 500-yard games. The ground game will try to average around 100 yards per game, but the net numbers will be in the tank thanks to all the sacks Holbrook will take.

What to watch for on defense: A little more improvement. While the production might not have been there last season, the D gave up 92 fewer yards than in 2005. With all the returning experience, and JUCO transfers, Junior Fasavalu and Vincent Butler, to help out the secondary, the defense might improve even more. If it hold teams to 350 yards and 28 points per game, the wins will come.

The team will be far better if … The drives turn into points against the better teams. The Aggies cranked out 534 yards on Boise State, but only scored 28 points in the loss. They amassed 429 yards on San Jose State and lost 31-21, gained 532 on New Mexico and lost 34-28 and 376 on Fresno State in a 23-18 loss. Of course, it would help if the turnovers, specifically the fumbles, stopped against the top defenses.

The Schedule: With 13 games, it’s a long season starting on August 30th and ending December 1st. There’s an interesting mix of non-conference games combining the killer (Auburn), the average (UTEP and New Mexico) and the flat-out ridiculous (SE Louisiana and Arkansas Pine-Bluff). Of the top WAC games, Hawaii, Boise State and San Jose State are on the road as part of a rough patch of four tough away dates in five weeks, while Nevada has to come to Las Cruces. Fortunately, three of the final four games are at home including the season-ender against Fresno State.

Best Offensive Player: Junior QB Chase Holbrook and junior WR Chris Williams. You can’t have one without the other as the two hooked up 92 times for 1,415 yards and 12 touchdowns. Williams went over the 100-yard mark seven times and only went below 80 twice, while Holbrook only went under 300 yards twice and went over 350 eight times with three 500-yard days including a 529-yard afternoon against Boise State.

Best Defensive Player: Junior FS Derrick Richardson. Richardson came on over the second half of the season starting the final seven games and finishing third on the team with 72 tackles to go along with two interceptions after mostly serving as a special teamer. While several starters are back, Richardson is one of the few who actually produced.

Key player to a successful season: Junior DE Brandon McKinney. NMSU cranked up its sack total from nine in 2005 to 14 last year … whoop-de-doo. While he’ll be needed more in the Aggie scheme to stop the run, generating pressure will be a must. He bulked up big-time over the last few years, but he has to be quick enough to start making more plays in the backfield at registering just two sacks and three tackles for loss.

The season will be a success if ... the Aggies win six games. With a 13-game slate that included two dates with D-IAA teams, NMSU has a solid chance to win six or more games for only the third time since 1993. The offense will be able to blow past teams like Utah State and Idaho, while the hope will be for a win over Louisiana Tech and an upset along the way. Two upsets might mean a seven-win season and a bowl appearance for the first time since 1960.

Key game: Oct. 7 vs. Boise State. The Aggies played the Broncos relatively well in a 40-28 loss, and now the showdown is in Las Cruces starts off the WAC season. This is more than just a statement game, it might be a must win with three straight road games to follow. .

2006 Fun Stats: 
- Sacks: Opponents 40 for 197 yards – NMSU 12 for 87 yards
- Field goals: Opponents 8 of 13 – NMSU 4 of 10
- 3rd quarter scoring: NMSU 76 – Opponents 34
- 4th quarter scoring: Opponents 103 – NMSU 87


Related Stories
2007 New Mexico State Preview - Offense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jun 9, 2007
2007 New Mexico State Preview - Defense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jun 9, 2007
2007 New Mexico State Preview - Depth Chart
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jun 9, 2007

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